East African volcano eruption losing force: French agency
The eruption of an Eritrean volcano lost intensity on Tuesday and the risks posed to aviation by its ash cloud diminished, the French state weather agency said.
Based on satellite imagery, Meteo France said that it was the Nabro volcano in Eritrea that was erupting and not nearby Dubbi as earlier reported.
"The ash cloud remains above Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and southern Egypt, at low altitude," said agency director Jean-Marie Carriere, adding that with ash at less than 5,000 metres it should have little impact on air transport.
Meteo France has been given the lead role in Europe in monitoring volcanic debris in the atmosphere.
The agency said that it did not expect the cloud to pass over the Arabian peninsula unless there is a significant increase in the force of the eruption, which appears to be losing strength.
The eruption sent a plume of ash up to 15 kilometres into the air, disrupting traffic in Eritrea and neighbouring Ethiopia.
German airline Lufthansa said it had cancelled two flights to the region and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut short a visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for fears of being stuck there.
© 2011 AFP